On a clear and cold Saturday morning, local volunteer emergency response teams consisting of the MRC (Medical Reserve Corps), CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), and DART (Disaster Animal Rescue Team) gathered for a training session with Cannon Beach Emergency Manager Rick Hudson at the “Tango” cache site on the South Wind property at the southern end of Cannon Beach.
The joint training on November 19, was to learn how to register, triage and treat medical patients in the event of a natural disaster, such as a large wildfire, Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami, major flood or windstorm. There was a large turn-out of loyal and committed volunteers who will be responsible for helping to treat both residents and visitors.
At the end of the training session, Rick Hudson gave a presentation explaining how each of these three teams will be deployed in various situations. Mayor Sam Steidel and Mayor-elect Barb Knop were present and actively involved in the drill. MRC leader Lila Wickham, CERT leader Mary Beth Cottle, and DART leader Bob Kroll guided their respective teams.
Cannon Beach is a small coastal town with a permanent population of around 1,500. The town is very popular during the tourist season with over 1 million annual visitors. Cannon Beach lacks a hospital; the only medical support is a small local health clinic, along with the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) working with the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District. In the aftermath of a natural disaster, roads leading to Cannon Beach would likely be impassable. With no road access and no hospital, the local MRC, CERT and DART teams are preparing themselves to respond to medical emergencies by conducting regular training for their members, along with providing medical support for the large annual events in Cannon Beach.